Requiem for a Dream (2000)

US Artisan DVD edition


A visually hypnotic masterpiece that's depressing, sad and almost unbelievably Feel Bad, BUT, also so beautiful you could cry.
This 2000 film are one of the best films of this millennia and definitely on my Top 100 Best Films All Time list.
Some other of my personal film favourites from this millennia are Shunji Iwai's 2001 "All About Lily Chou Chou" and Gapar Noe's
2009 "Enter the Void". What's defining them are the dreamlike almost experimental visuals, and the intense feeling of sorrow.
For sure no Feel Good movies but all of them with some unique fragile breathtaking beauty.

Get to know Sara Goldfarb, the sad aging TV watching widow, in a beyond words fabulous role portrayal by the legendary Ellen Burstyn,
one of the greatest actresses ever, her son Harry (Jared Leto) and his beautiful girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his best friend
Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and follow them on their journey into the Abyss. Great performances from all of them.

Sara is dreaming of being invited to an day time Game Show and she's preparing herself by eating weight loss pills to be able to once again
wear her favourite red dress, and Harry, Marion and Tyrone they dream about earning easy money by selling drugs.
They may be losers and without aim in their drug induced mist, but they're also loving and hoping for a better future. But as this film is based
on a Hubert Selby, Jr. novel, one of his elegys over humanity, their fragile dreams and hopes are about to be crushed, brutally.

Jennifer Jason Leigh in the 1989 film

The story is told in tableaus over the seasons and with Hubert Selby, Jr. as the writer of the novel and the scriptwriter "Requiem for a Dream"
is a mighty powerful Feel Bad cinematic experience, and of such magnitude that it even reaches the pain and sorrow of his famous shock
1964-65 novel "Last Exit to Brooklyn", and this very controversial novel also made into a fine film in 1989 by German director Uli Edel, even
though Edel never dared (or wanted) to make it as black and hopeless as Selby's writing. But Aronofsky did it in his Requiem for a Dream.

Aronofsky made his feature film debut with the amazing number mystique thriller "Pi" in 1997 and he at this time looked as the new Great
Visionary talent of american film (read more about his film Pi on my Cult and Classics Page 1).
When i first wrote here about this film in 2006 Darren Aronofsky hadn't directed a film in 6 years and i was worried for him being bought by
Hollywood, The Shit Factory and disarmed as every other indie film talent have been.
And in a note from 2015 one could verify that Darren Aronofsky never again was even close to the greatness of his Pi and Requiem films.
Hollywood usually has that destructive effect on any talent entering within it's realms. Nothing too edgy is allowed.
I haven't seen 2006 "The Fountain" yet, but i found his 2008 "The Wrestler" and 2010 "Black Swan" to be OK, too mainstream, nothing magic.

Nothing magic? Well, for sure the cinematography of the brilliant Matthew Libatique has provided visual magic to the Aronofsky films, and
he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for 2000 Requiem for a Dream and 2010 Black Swan. Plus him being nominated
for awards for his work on The Fountain and for Pi.

The US Artisan DVD presented the film in anamorphic widescreen with an english audio 5.1 and with extras: a Making Of (35 minutes), a
commentary audio with the director Aronofsky and with the cinematographer Matthew Libatique, Deleted scenes and a great interview with
legendary author Hubert Selby, Jr. by actress Ellen Burstyn where he tells us about his view of the world and humanity, trailers, text sheet

Note in 2020: If i remember correctly Hubert Selby, Jr. can be seen at the end of moving as a jailer taking much delight in tormenting the
unlucky prisoners. Says something about his views on us humans. Dark. Also, he said something interesting and i still remembers it today
over 15 years later, that the expression "Our eyes are the windows of the soul" isn't correct, as "Our eyes are the projector of our soul"